I picked the phone and as I was about to press the receiver, my husband spoke
“Who is that?” he asked, his forehead hewn into a slight frown
“It’s elder” I said and picked the call.
I moved out of the room in order to close the fridge that I had left open
“Hello Mrs. Douglas”
“Good evening sir” I said
I had sworn not to ever pick his call when he did call but I decided to change my mind
“We have not seen Mercy for three days now.” he said and I was tempted to his although I didn’t yield
He was still my spiritual leader anyways
“And you are just calling today Elder?” I asked
“Nooo…We thought she angrily left because her mother corrected and would soon come back but no, we waited long until someone told us that she was rushed to the hospital from school day before yesterday”
“Well, she is” I replied curtly as I sorted the apples too choose
/> “Please, I am in the hospital right now where I have been directed to that my daughter is. But I am not allowed into the ICU where she is” he said and I smiled a bit
I had instructed the nurses not to allow anyone in no matter the relationship they claim they had with the patient
“Sir, she is in the intensive care unit. Just no one is allowed to enter in there” I said
“What! I am her father. Don’t you get? This is Mercy’s father. I want to see my daughter” he said with authority
“Sir, when we move her into a ward, you might be able to see her but definitely not now. She is in a critical situation and she is being monitored” I said and he sighed deeply
I shook my head as I washed the apples under the tap
“What exactly could the problem be Mrs. Douglas? What happened to my daughter?” he asked and I sighed too
“She had a very critical miscarriage” I said as I cut the apples into small cubes inside two salad bowls
“What! Miscarriage?…Mrs Douglas, see, erm…let me call you back…” he stammered in whispers
I dropped the call, shook my head, carried a tray with the salad bowls and two bottles of water and moved to the room
As I got to the room, my husband looked up at me.
I was not comfortable with the look
“Dearie, what is the problem?” I asked as I dropped the tray on the table.
I carried a bowl of salad and was walking to him when he shouted suddenly
“If you can eat at this point, I am a man of conscience and I won’t be able to swallow a tiny bit”
I was shaken
Since our seventeen years of marriage, Seyi had never raised his voice at me before.
I was shocked
He saw it and was guilt-stricken as he scratched his head
“Come over here” he said and I dropped the salad bowl on the table as I obeyed the last command
I sat on the bed and he held my hand
“Sorry for shouting at you” he said and I nodded, yet to be out of my shock
“But dear, why? Why would you do like this to me? Why?” he asked and I was confused the more
What had I done to him?
/> “Since our marriage almost two decades now, I had never seen any other woman. I had drawn water from my cistern and I had been contented with you. So, why would you do this to me?” he asked and my throat became clogged up immediately
What was he saying?
“Never have I seen any other man too dear. What did I do to you?” I asked, very confused
He shook his head as if he was sorry for me
“Even if you don’t pity your son, I pity him a lot. You can see that I am not a match for his transplant; I would have done it for him. But you have to confess now so that your only son would be saved” he said further and everything became lumped up in my head
What was he saying?
Why is he saying ‘Your son’ instead of ‘Our son’?
I couldn’t comprehend anything at all!
“Seyi, I don’t get you” I said and he held my hand, fixing his eyes upon mine
“Who is Jean’s father?” he asked and my walls came crashing down
“What!” I exclaimed as tears ran down my face, unrestrained.
Seyi just accused me of extra-marital affairs?
I tore at my hair as I stood up and danced mournfully as I cried.
“Ah! Impossible! I just heard wrongly! Seyi can’t say such to me…I am…” I was saying when he shouted suddenly
“Would you shut up my friend!” he screamed and I fell into a chair, very shocked
I should shut up?
“How is it possible for an A blood group couple give birth to an O blood group child? Impossible! Produce the father of the child now” he screamed as he approached me
“Who is it? One of the parents of your students? Or is it elder?” he asked as he came closer and I started crying
“The devil is a liar. My marriage is covered with the blood of Jesus” I said and he looked so dangerous as he came closer. He slapped my face hard
“Would you stop pretending, you hypocrite!” he screamed
“Jesus” I screamed in a high-pitch as the pain entered into the innermost part of my body
“I should not have trusted you at all. I should not have placed my life into your hands. I should never have believed you. Now wonder she smiles so seductively with men…ah…I should have known!” he said as tears ran down his face
Oh my God!
I was really shaken
Shaken that Seyi could even think that I could do this to him!
Really shaken that my husband could distrust me this much
“Seyi, I can’t believe this” I cried hard and he shook his head
“You are a liar. Even today, you have proven to be a bastard, a w—e, a filthy adulteress” he cried again as he sat on the bed, holding his head with his two hands
“How?” I asked
I was sure this was the devil’s handiwork
Was I not watchful enough as a wife?
Was I not wise enough?
“Why couldn’t you pick Elder’s call in my presence? Why did you have to take so much time that you left for hours in the pretense that you went to get apples?” he asked and I shook my head
What a strategy the devil wants to use!
I refuse to let go!
I refuse to allow bitterness against my husband
The devil wants to create a huge problem for me but that is not what I need right now.
Bitterness would make me prayerless and angry and I might let curses run out of my mouth against Seyi
I would not allow those roots of bitterness to spring at all
“Seyi, I was out to get apples for us. We haven’t eaten since morning when it is not like we are fasting. My phone rang and I waited to see if you would bring it to me. When you didn’t, I had to run to the room before the ringing stops. I had left the fridge opened. I went out to close it immediately after getting my phone so the gas won’t all escape.” I explained and he nodded as if he was convinced
Then, he stood up from the bed, went close to the mirror and picked a bottle of perfume. He threw it at the mirror and it came crashing down
I stood up, mouth agape
He screamed loudly and knelt down on the broken pieces with a thud
“You ruined me Bola! You ruined me yet you said you loved me. Bola!” he cried so loudly that I was confused
There was a knock at the door but my husband continued weeping
“Omobolanle, Oluwaseyi, please someone should open the door”
I had even forgotten that Seyi’s old grandmother was around.
She was already so old and bent and I wondered how she got to the door so quickly
Seyi stood up, wiped his tears and walked to the door, still heaving with violent sobs
He pushed me off the way as he opened the door
Mama, with face full of wrinkles was at the door, a cane in her hand, her long grey hair fallingover her shoulder.
She looked not too happy as she entered the room slowly.
She sat on the bed and looked at both of us- her sight was almost gone.
Seyi lost his mother to an accident when he was a child and his grandmother had been his strong support.
He loved her as he loved his eyes
“Oluwaseyi” he called out and he went close to her and fell before her, burying his face in her laps, resuming his crying session
She rubbed his head soothingly
“Omobolanle” she called out to me as I went close to her, Seyi pushed me back and I almost fell
“Mama, she can’t come close. I don’t ever want to see her close me again!” he cried out
Mama looked shocked as she looked from her grandson to me
“Oluwaloseyi! Ah ah…why? What could have happened between both of you that you don’t have respect for me? What?” she asked and Seyi started crying again
“Mama, our marriage has been a deceit. Could you believe that she has been deceiving me ever since” he cried and mama looked at me
“How?” she asked
“Mama, I told her my greatest pain in life when we wanted to get married. I told her all about it but she said she loved me and would marry me just like that” he said and that was when I realized what he had been talking about.
I shook my head because he had taken it too far!
During courtship, he had told me that he was impotent but I really loved him that I believed there was nothing impossible for God. I told him God will perform wonders before we even get married and for real, about two months to our marriage, he started seeing and feeling changes in his body.
We went for some tests when after five months of marriage, I was not pregnant and that was when we were told that he was infertile. It was difficult for him to bear but I believed in the Lord for him and prayers started fully.
The third month after that, I conceived!
“So, what happened?” Grandma asked.
“I couldn’t make babies quite alright and we were ready to go all the way to adopt. But she went outside marriage, got pregnant and came back to me saying a miracle had happened…such a woman can kill…ah ah!…ah …oluwa oooo” he cried violently the more
Mama cleared her throat
“How did you know that my son?” She asked
“Mama, all i know is Bola cheated on me. I loved her and I thought she loved me too but no mama. Bola cheated on me” he said and Mama shook her head repeatedly
“Impossible! Not my own Bola” Mama exclaimed and I started crying
It was so touching that I could still have someone to believe in me at that point.
“Jean is not my son.” He blurted out and Mama covered her mouth, shocked
“You are shocked too Mama?” He said and I sat up, crying heartily
“Mama, that’s not true.” I cried as I watched Mama clearly and realized that tears had started gathering in her eyes
“Ahhhh!” Mama cried as she slid from the bed and her grandson quickly held her as she went on her knees
“Mama, I have never cheated on Seyi. Jean is his son” I cried on when all of a sudden, Seyi came close to me, strangling me and tightening his grip on my neck.
I wheezed on when I heard the frail voice
“Leave her alone!” Mama screamed weakly and he stopped almost immediately
It all looked like a dream to me.
Strangling me like this?
After almost two decades of living together, Oluwaseyi!
I was battered!
I was crushed!
I was yet to come out of the sad news that I read from Mercy’s diary three days back but here I was in almost the same shoes as hers- exactly the title of her diary- Crushed!
After reading clearly over and over the writings in her diary, I had seen the title of the diary.
Written boldly was the word ‘Crushed!’
I felt like I might need to get a diary too and start writing how crushed I was at that point
“Jean is not your son Oluwaloseyi” Mama said and I jumped up
“Mama, that’s not true. You won’t believe Seyi over me, would you?” I asked, my voice shaking vigorously
“My daughter, I know my end must be very near and then truth must come out” she said the more and I was more confused.
Seyi held her hand
“Mama, you know about it all?” he asked and she shook her head
“Jean is not your son but it’s not Bola’s fault” she said in a shaky voice
“What!” Seyi and I exclaimed
Mama cried the more again
“I have a confession to make” she said and we exchanged looks with our swollen faces
What could have happened?
It was just impossible for mama to do wrong!
I picked the phone and as I was about to press the receiver, my husband spoke